Saturday, October 20, 2018

Who do you trust? Her or Him?

By Faith Chatham - October 20, 2018
Article 4: Section 7 of the Texas Constitution names the Governor as COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF MILITARY FORCES. "He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the State, except when they are called into actual service of the United States.  He shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the State, to suppress insurrections, and to repel invasions."
Lupe Valdez - Retired Military officer served as Captain in the US National Guard leading a tank battalion. She also has 17 years of  Federal Service as a civilian in addition to being the former Sheriff of Dallas County. She was :
  • Inspector for the General Services Administration (GSA)
  • Senior Federal Agent, working undercover in Latin America on drug interdiction and money laundering.
Valdez was elected Sheriff of Dallas County in 2004 and re-elected three times:
  • She was the first Democrat to be elected county wide in Dallas County in decades.
  • The only woman or person of color ever to serve as Sheriff of Dallas County.
  • She was re-elected 3 times before retiring in Dec. 2017 to run for Governor of Texas.
Valdez inherited a department which was out of compliance for jail overcrowding, being understaffed and unsanitary. She had to persuade the County Commissioners and citizens  to appropriate funds and seek grants necessary for substantial improvements at the jail. She was not able to solve all of the problems immediately, but once she got the jail into compliance, she kept it that way.She implemented community policing, placing people of color and women in supervisory roles, and redeployed officers so that they more closely represented the people in the neighborhoods. She told her officers: "The first time someone meets you shouldn't be when you are arresting them. Get out there and meet people doing community service."
Valdez says: "Most people in the jail have not been convicted of anything. Even those who have should be treated with respect."
Valdez is accustomed to standing out in the crowd. She was the only Latina Sheriff in the USA and oversaw the 7th largest Sheriff's department in the USA.
Photo from
The daughter of migrant farm workers, Lupe Valdez worked three jobs to pay her way through college. She prioritizes education and seeks to give all people in Texas a pathway upward. "I am where I am because this state gave me the opportunity to get an education, to work and to serve. I want everyone to have the opportunities that I've had." She say that "I've got mine, too bad about yours!" is an attitude that too many elected official have which for sake of the people of this state should to stop!
Most of Lupe Valdez’ adult life has been in uniform. She enlisted in the US National Guard as a young woman, and rose to the rank of Captain over a mostly male tank battalion before entering Federal Service.
Photo from
Valdez faces incumbent Greg Abbott in the General Election. Abbott has a war chest, rich with special interest money acquired during decades as a state official, which is 51 times bigger than Valdez's.  Abbott continues to raise money and is channeling millions into the campaign coffers of other Republicans (especially those allied with Donald Trump and the Freedom Caucus.
Abbott, a darling of the gun lobby, and Valdez disagree on gun laws. Valdez, who is always armed and has been continually in a profession where being armed is requirement, favors concealed carry. Unlike Abbott, who rose to power through the support of the gun lobby, Valdez sees gun violence as a threat to civil society. Abbott seeks no restraints on gun ownership.
Shootings in schools have the attention of both candidates. Abbott held a highly publicized town hall on School Violence after a recent massacre at a central Texas school. His solution is arming teachers, a proposal very unpopular with most classroom teachers who have concerns about being able to secure a firearm in a classroom of children or teenagers.
Valdez opposes arming teachers.
She says: “We must provide security for the schools. It is the teachers job to teach and our job to keep them safe.” Valdez is emphatic: “Those who cannot settle disputes without violence, have no business carrying a gun.”  
Long before the NRA endorsed Abbott for Governor, he forged an alliance with the gun lobby.
Abbott’s history with the gun lobby dates back to 2002  when the gun lobby used a law enforcement front group to quietly help elect Abbott as Texas attorney general. Frank Smyth wrote in 2017: Back then, Democrats still held a majority in the Texas state house and in the Texas delegation to Congress. It was a time when the gun lobby was learning how to reach out to other right-leaning groups, forging alliances that predated both the Tea Party and the Trump campaign. It was the beginning of a redistricting or “gerrymandering” process that has since helped bring the Republican party in Texas and other states to unprecedented political power.

But ever since he ran for his first Texas legislative seat more than twenty years ago, Abbott has been a steady advocate for expanding Texans’ access to guns. He has earned a 100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association, and is proud of it.
Valdez is also an advocate for private gun ownership, however, unlike Abbott, she has no ties to the gun lobby. She favors stronger background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, domestic abusers and other persons with a history of violence.
She says that ‘some weapons are designed for military combat, designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Those weapons have no business on our streets.’ 
Valdez lives simply and her campaign reflects her down-to-earth basic lifestyle. She has driven herself, usually with one staffer, from town to town in her pickup truck this year, being on the road constantly since January when she declared for Governor.
Valdez greets citizens at a campaign stop in Round Rock, Texas Friday afternoon, Oct. 20, 2018.              Photo by Linda Brooks
Now she has embarked on a 4700 mile but trip for to make almost 50 campaign stops in ten days this month. She is on bus with other statewide Democratic Nominees (Mike Collier for Lt. Gov,., Kim Olson for Agriculture Commissioner, Joi Chevalier for Comptroller, Justin Nelson for Attorney General and other). When that ends, she will head out again to  meet citizens in other towns where they live. They are keeping in touch with supporters through the twitter hashtag: #FairShotTour
Some view Valdez’s campaign with wistful nostalgia. A daughter of San Antonio, this is the Tri-centennial celebration year of the founding of Lupe’s home town.  One of her campaign buttons reflects her historic race as the first Latina woman to run for Governor in the history of Texas. A win in 2018 for this San Antonio native would is seen by many as another millestone to celebrate for the Alamo City. It is also the anniversary of Democratic women being granted the right to vote in the Texas Primary.  She is the first Latina to win the nomination for Governor in the history of Texas. In the state’s history, only two women have been governor. Ann Richards was the only one who was not the first lady who assumed office after her husband. 
Valdez is a native of San Antonio and is running for Governor during the Tri-centennial year of her birthplace.
The polls reflect Abbott’s stronger name recognition and financial might. However, Valdez has always been viewed as an underdog who had little or no chance of winning, yet she has never lost an election. The Dallas Morning New always discounted her, sometimes vehemently opposing her, but the majority of voters have always chosen her. She was shocked when she won her first race as Sheriff and honored all three times she was re-elected.
She was seen as one of the least likely to win of the 9 candidates for Governor in 2018 Democratic Primary, yet came within 2 points of avoiding a run-off. She beat the son of former Governor Mark White, a candidate whose income from his tech businesses gave him many more financial resources than Vadez in the run-off, after coming in first against 8 men in the Primary..
She has not gotten as much press as Beto O’rourak and did not start the campaign with a Congressional war chest. However, she resonates with “ordinary people” she meets on the campaign trail because she comes from a Texas “working stock” family and understand what it means to not have health insurance when a family member is ill or how hard it is to struggle to work multiple jobs to provide for your family or to pay you way through college. She is a problem solver who looks for ways to improve things for the people she meets.  She is plain spoken, down-to-earth, and compassionate. She is a problem-solver who focuses on making things better for the people she meets.

Whatever the outcome November 6th, she has elevated the public rhetoric from the divisive pettiness of Abbott’s previous campaign, shifting the focus to public school finance reform, affordable health care, solving the state’s maternal and infant mortality crisis which is more dire than in any other part of the developed world, and giving all citizens a fair shot at providing for their families. She balances the need to protect our borders with our responsibility to be humane and not separate children from their parents or unfairly vilify border communities which have lower crime statistics than many communities in the state’s interior as “crime ridden communities.” 

Lupe Valdez, as governor, would be a breath of fresh air in a state whose legislative agenda has stalled on wedge issue bathroom bills and drastic cuts to public school financing. Lupe Valdez brings strength and common sense to every office she holds. Unlike Abbott who pushed through Campus Carry legislation during a time when school shooting was escalating, Valdez is the voice for balance — respecting the rights of law abiding citizens while calling for policies to curtail the proliferation of arms in the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and those with histories of violence.

As importantly, she would put an end to Abbott’s practice of “Pay to Play Politics” where most political appointees are campaign donors or their agents. 
To donate to Valdez's campaign:

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